i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2845 by Phi

March 28, 2020

Saturday 21st March 2020

On those extremely rare occasions I ever get roped into a pub quiz team, I always inform my team-mates ‘if it’s opera or soap operas, don’t ask me’; so last weekend’s ghost theme based around Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes went completely over my head. Well, I knew he’d written an opera of that name, but then again I know there’s a family called the Dingles in Emmerdale; it doesn’t mean I’ve seen either.

Anyhow, I thought we had a really nicely constructed grid and a consistently high level of clueing from Phi. I’m struggling to think how an adverb like 29a SLENDERLY might be used, but it’s there in the dictionary, so no complaints. My last one in was 5d GRIMES, because (unsurprisingly) I didn’t know that Peter Grimes was a deranged fisherman, and it took me an age to realise the way 11a F[av]OUR worked,  which was definitely a tricky clue to parse.

Amongst my favourites were 1a SEARCHING, 12a INTERLUDES, and the excellent clue for 27a BRITTEN. However my COD nomination has to go to this pleasingly assembled &Lit:

6d Low luminance in the dark? (9)

All the answers can be found by clicking here, along with plenty of discussion on the theme and the expected contribution from this setter to boot.

Trusting you’re all keeping well and managing to access the crossword by means foul or fair. I had been supposed to be playing Macbeth in the local AmDram this week. Heigh-ho.

13 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2845 by Phi”

  1. batarde said

    A curious coincidence: the Dawn interlude was used to play out the Radio 4 PM programme the day before the crossword appeared, and for that reason it was fresh in my mind. A Phi theme spotted, then – egad. Good puzzle long on entertainment and low on irritation.

    We are well, but still haven’t managed to resolve the grocery shopping situation, which is becoming a priority. Sorry about Macbeth, Cornick – you must have put a lot of work into that.

    • Cornick said

      ‘Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’.

      But actually we’re hoping to go again in November. inshallah. Might do a themed crossword to keep the ball in the air…

    • jonofwales said

      Home deliveries which should be coming into their own now, alongside Click + Collect, seem to be severely under-resourced. Our local corner shop seemed to be pretty good the last time I was there, but it’s been a few days now.

  2. jonofwales said

    Ah yes, last Saturday, those heady days when ordinary things like going to the shop and buying a newspaper were still a possibility. Thankfully we still have the digital edition and an overpriced ink cartridge to print out the Inquisitor.

    Last week’s puzzle – fairly straightforward, enjoyable, and a theme I was never going to spot.

    Commiserations on the postponement of the Scottish play.

  3. jonofwales said

    Talking of an inability to go out, has anyone else ordered any of the 6-week free delivery vouchers? Mine have failed to materialise.

    • saboteur said

      I did, and got mine, but the newsagent has suspended deliveries, I guess due to the young lad being kept at home. They are valid until December 31st, so I hope to use them later in the year; although I have to say I am getting used to the online experience…

      • Cornick said

        Sadly none of the nearby shops deliver to our village, so I suspect it would be futile asking.

  4. saboteur said

    A good one, and I was very pleased with myself for spotting the theme. I’m no fan of Britten’s music, but recalled enough from having been subjected to it at school, decades ago, to correctly guess the relevant components.

    The parsing of FOUR defeated me, and I take my hat off the Cornick for getting it last week.

    Today’s all completed nicely, although I was affected by the curse of the four-letter entries, which took almost as much work as the rest of the crossword.

    Commiserations on Macbeth. I suppose as it is a local group it will be relatively easy to pick up again when all this is over.

    So much is being postponed. I was due to go and hear Spem in Alium at the Cadogan Hall in That London in June, something I have been waiting half-a-lifetime for. Oh well…

    • Cornick said

      Today’s was not an enjoyable experience for me at all, unfortunately. I can only hope there’ll prove to have been a good reason, although I’ve yet to discover any theme or Nina. 😦

      • jonofwales said

        If your Dutch or Italian is up to scratch you might spot today’s Nina. It’s a reprint from late December 2015, if that helps at all. 🙂

      • Cornick said

        Bravo for spotting that one!
        I have neither language alas, but you’ve steered me to it. 😆

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